Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please explain

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Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please explain

Postby Alkeys » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:05 pm

Ok so I've been doing some research and I have a question:

There's a couple of interesting/weird/cool things about Jake E. Lee's ESP signature strat neck

1) 24 3/4 scale neck (short Gibson scale) and
2) First 12 frets use Jumbo size fret wire and 13-22 use medium fret wire.

I understand the 24 3/4 scale thing- making a strat feel more like a Gibson- fine. But.....

My question is: If you set up your neck like this with frets 1-12 Jumbo and 13-22 medium fret combination, wouldn't this cause intonation problems? They look at you weird enough for wanting a 24 3/4 scale strat neck but I mean every custom guitar shop I've walked in and asked about setting up a neck this way with the jumbo to medium fret combo.......... eyes glare, jaws clench, nostrils flare and eyebrows twitch- they look at me with panic stricken horror like I'm crazy or maybe.........dum dum dum...... the devil himself!!!!!!!!!!

"Blasphemous and utterly proposterous!!!!- they cry! Dude it will give you total intonation problems, dead spots and sweet spots on the neck, inconsitencies with tuning etc.."

I mean if Jake E. Lee did it this way, it had to work obviously- it must kick ass or he wouldn't do it that way- so I was thinking about building a guitar from scratch and setting it up this way. I know it's supposed to be more comfortable to Jake and that's why he did it this way. But what about intonation problems?

Have you guys who made Jake E. Lee replica guitars set yours up like this with the same details in the neck? I called Warmoth, they won't do it, and Lee over at GMW won't do it either. I doubt Carvin would either. My local guy won't do it either.

Also, this was the spec on the Jake E. Lee signature- the 24 3/4 scale with the 1-12 jumbo 13-22 medium fret thing. I wonder if the "Charvelized" white Fender had this spec as well as the purple and blue burst Charvel's?

I think Jake gets the award for trippiest guitar setup of all time LOL.

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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby jefnel1 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:08 pm

Hey Alkeys:

I got the third degree from Warmoth and local luthiers too when I wanted to set up my custom strat with Jake's mixed fret setup. The only company who understood completely was USA Custom Guitars. I just explained that I wanted more "feel" in the upper registers for speed. They dug it.

I twisted Warmoth's arm and they will do it, but they whack you with a $100 surcharge and remove the warranty. USA Customs didn't even blink.

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't go with the mixed fret setup though. I owned an ESP Jake strat and it was a great feeling guitar, but I think ESP used a special combination of frets that were of the same height, but different thickness. If you go with normal (Dunlop, etc.) Jumbo and Medium frets mixed, the heights are different and there are buzzing problems in the upper registers. I corrected it by getting used to pretty high action, but that was the only fix.

If you're building a custom strat a-la Jake E Lee, I would recommend Jumbo frets all the way up the neck.
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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby Alkeys » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:08 am

Right on! Thanks Jefnel. That's the answer I was looking for. Those folks at ESP must have done some REALLY trippy nit picky detailed stuff- I know ESP custom shop does a great job. I wonder what magic formula they used over there??

Another question: So were the non ESP model guitars that jake used- before he was using ESP, I'm talking about the white, purple and blue strat, were those ones 24 3/4 and set up with the jumbo to medium fret thing or did Jake have just jumbo frets on those guitars?

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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby Gonzo » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:08 am

I believe the blueburst,purpleburst and whitie are all 25 1/2" with jumbo frets. I could be wrong.

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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby jefnel1 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:57 am

Yes, those guitars had all Jumbo frets.
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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby Alkeys » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:08 pm

But on the white charvel, the blue charvel and purple charvel, they had all jumbo frets but was their neck scale 24 3/4 or was it 25 1/2?

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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby jefnel1 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:30 pm

The scale was 25.5 on the purple, blue & white guitars
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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby Alkeys » Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:05 pm

Wow thanks for the info. It's weird that Jake switched from a 25.5 to a
24 3/4. You'd think he would keep it the same because he'd be used to it. Normally people don't change something that crucial half way through their playing career.

Man I just played a 24 3/4 scale Fender guitar from the early 80s called a Fender Lead II today at a local used music store. It has a 24 3/4 scale neck and it is the first guitar I have played that has a strat style body with a 24 3/4 scale neck and man the 24 3/4 scale neck feels SO much better to me than a 25 1/2. I bought an old Boss OD1 today too. Anyway, thanks for the info.

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Re: Jake E. Lee's guitar neck -WTF???!!!! Please expl

Postby Badseeddbs » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:21 pm

Those short scale necks are super comfortable and it makes it difficult to switch back to a fender lenght after.I tried it giging and it takes a few minutes to adjust.

I really don't know if my Jake guitar ever had the small frets on it , it had jumbo's when I got it. Jake may have tired of them by the time he ordered it.

Oh and ALkeys, they way it was explained to me by ESP VP Matt M was that Jake wanted a mix between his charvel strats and his Gibson SG.

The SG had the gibson length neck (obviously) and the small fret wire. Jake liked the feel of that guitar and wanted to make his strats as comfortable so he mixed the 2. Jakes version of the Reeses peanut butter cup more or less. SG's are brittle feeling guitars that don't always handle hard road use as good as thier strat counterparts.

My Jake ESP is my fav until the day I die.Its heavy like a les paul (one piece Mahogony) and plays like butter.God bless Jake for letting this one go so I could have it :)

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